Teenager gave up on army career after harassment

Edwin 'Jock' Mee denies three rapes and multiple sexual assaults. Picture: PA
Edwin 'Jock' Mee denies three rapes and multiple sexual assaults. Picture: PA
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A SHY teenager gave up her hopes of joining the British Army after her Scottish recruitment officer slapped her on the bottom, pestered her for dates and asked her “inappropriate” personal questions, she told a court yesterday.

The woman, who was 17 at the time, claims the sexual attentions of army recruitment sergeant Edwin Mee – known as Jock – made her feel “very uncomfortable”.

“He asked if I was a virgin. I asked why he was asking”

Witness’s evidence

He asked her if she was a virgin and waited until her mother had walked out of a meeting room where they were discussing a taster session to start training for the army.

The alleged incidents happened during the 15 to 20 times that she met him, at first accompanied by her mother, at the recruitment interviews.

Speaking from behind a curtain, the woman, who is now 22, told London’s Southwark Crown Court: “He just smacked my bottom on the way out.”

She told the jury that “he did not say anything”, adding: “I was just very shocked and a bit overwhelmed. I did not know what to say. I was not expecting that to happen. I was speechless. I did not know what to say.”

Mee, 45, allegedly carried out sex attacks on 11 women as young as 15 while working at an army careers centre. He denies 17 charges of sexual assault, three rapes and one count of assault by penetration.

The woman said she did not tell her mother about the alleged bottom smack at first because her mother “thought so highly of Jock and always praised him” and she was scared it might damage her application.

The woman claims that Mee, who worked in the Croydon and Cheam regions of south London, pestered her with questions about her personal life, asking her about eight times to go out for a drink and whether her mother would let her stay at his house.

He would also “stare” at her chest during the interviews, she told the court.

She said: “He asked if I would go out for a drink with him. I said ‘no, maybe next week’ and tried to push it aside.

“He asked if I had a relationship and a boyfriend. He also asked if I was a virgin. I asked ‘why are you asking these questions, they are not relevant to my application?’”

On why he asked about her staying at his home, Mee allegedly told her “he would not be able to control himself once he had a drink”. She felt he was “very touchy feely with me”, she said.

She applied to join the army in March 2011 but had abandoned the plan by December that year.

Lisa Wilding QC, defending, claimed the incidents did not happen and suggested that when Mee found out they shared the same birthday, he only said “make sure you do not drink too much, it will effect your training”.

The woman responded: “That is a lie.”

The case continues.


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